Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan
Jordan has allowed 3,900 Syrian refugees to return to their home country over the last three years following protests against the poor living conditions in the Zaatari refugee camp. A total of 32,409 Syrian refugees have returned from Jordan since the outbreak of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.
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The refugees requested to return to Syria and received the approval of the Jordanian authorities after a series of protests at the Zaatari refugee camp, located 58 km northeast of Amman, during which dozens of people were arrested and interrogated, according to the camp’s head.
The return of refugees to Syria is miniscule in contrast with the flow of people in the opposite direction. Approximately 2,000 Syrians cross the border into Jordan every day to escape the violence, according to UN figures.
It has been reported that some Syrians are taking advantage of their refugee status to gather supplies Jordan, which they then bring back to Syria before returning to Jordan with other groups of refugees.
So far, a total of 478,820 Syrians have sought refuge in Jordan since the beginning of the revolution, in addition to the 600,000 that were previously living in the country.
The constant flow of Syrian refugees has aggravated the economic crisis in Jordan, contributing to a split in the country’s political class between those who are for or against the regime in Damascus.
In a recent parliamentary debate, some members of the minority pro-Assad camp accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of supporting the Syrian rebels, prompting Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh to apologize to the ambassadors of those two countries to Amman over such statements. Judeh said that these “verbal attacks did not represent the majority of Jordanians.”
Image credit: European Commission